A Gospel for Liberals
Considering the historical     Jesus in light of today’s most controversial social Issues
 

Jesus Was a Universal Healthcare Provider

That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons.  And the whole city was gathered around the door.” Jesus provided holistic healthcare for everyone (body, mind, and soul), including, as we have seen, demoniacs, some of whom, at least, we would consider mentally ill by today’s standards.  Yet where is the concern, especially from those who insist ours is a “Christian Nation,” over the hundreds of thousands of people with mental illnesses who have been refused adequate treatment ever since our government effectively started shutting down psychiatric hospitals in the 1980’s?  Since then the number of public hospital beds for the mentally ill has been reduced by nearly 70 percent.  Hundreds of thousands of them, as a result, have added to the growing ranks of homeless people in this country, and thousands more are being housed in our nation’s prisons.  As Bernard E. Harcourt, professor of law and criminology at the University of Chicago noted in a recent article, “Over the past 40 years, the United States dismantled a colossal mental health complex and rebuilt—bed by bed—an enormous prison.” He goes on to point out that our Nation’s “federal and state prison populations skyrocketed from under 200,000 persons in 1970 to more than 1.3 million in 2002,” a number that has since increased to over 2 million, more than any other country on Earth. “I… was sick and in prison and you did not visit me,” Jesus is reported to have said. “Lord, when was it that we saw you… sick or in prison and did not take care of you?  Then he answered them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’”